Lent is likely derived from the old word for lengthen and seemingly referred to the lengthening or stretching of daylight hours that is occurring now and ushers in the season of spring on March 20. In honor of the origin of the word Lenten, I would like to challenge you to participate in something that will stretch your faith during Lent.
Lent is a very specific word that means the time between Ash Wednesday and Easter Sunday. This year Ash Wednesday is February 14 – appropriate considering the greatest way the Bible says we can show love is to lay down our lives for someone else. Lent is a great time to set aside something that is taking your attention or energy away from God or away from the work of God and focus on living our faith.
These 40 days of Lent are set apart for the purpose of self-reflection and examining ourselves against God’s desire for us. It is traditionally a somber time because, if we are honest, measuring ourselves to God’s standards is a huge disappointment for us. In fact, many Christians give up or sacrifice something they love to remind them of the sorrow that Jesus had when He sacrificed His life for us.
You can certainly give up something as is the custom for Lent, but would you also consider lengthening your faith, stretching it to a point that is less comfortable and causes you to rely on God? This year in Lent we are reading through the book, God Space. Everyone connected to Cross is invited and challenged to join us make space for God in our everyday lives. This book will take us on a Biblical adventure that stretches our faith to join Him where He is working rather than asking Him to join us where we are comfortable.
Officially Lent is 40 days long, but it takes up 46 days on the calendar. (Sundays are not traditionally considered a part of Lent because Sunday is a day to celebrate that God has forgiven our sins, not being immersed in sorrow. Yay Sundays!) Would you consider reading God Space and see if it doesn’t lengthen your faith, stretching it to the point that you will pray for God’s strength, courage and Holy Spirit? Would you consider getting together with other believers to do the same? There is strength in numbers, and Jesus joins us when we gather together in His name!
You can sign up for a group to go through God Space together online, at the kiosk in the fellowship hall or by filling out a card in worship!
“Come, follow Me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” – Jesus in Matthew 4:19 –